Welcome!

Linux Containers Authors: Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Vaibhaw Pandey, Yeshim Deniz

Related Topics: Linux Containers

Linux Containers: Article

Defend I.T.

Tap the best computer-security practices and industry standards to deter attacks and better defend networks

The battle between IT professionals and those who use the Internet for destructive purposes is raging - and there's no end in sight. Reports of computer crime and incidents from the CERT Coordination Center at Carnegie Mellon University more than double each year and are expected to rise. Meanwhile, viruses and worms continue to take down organizations for days. In the following interview, I had the opportunity to talk with cyber security experts Ajay Gupta and Scott Laliberte about their latest book, Defend I.T.: Security by Example (Addison-Wesley, 0-321-19767-4). We discussed who is winning the cyber-security war and what some of the most overlooked security measures are. Read on for the rest of the story.

Tell me about your book.
Defend I.T. is a collection of case studies from our experiences in the field. These case studies are representative of the vast array of security consulting engagements we see in the computer security, forensics, and data privacy arena.

How is this book different from the vast majority of security books that are currently on the market?
It consists entirely of case studies, which is different. Topics range from war dialing, wireless security, computer viruses, computer forensics, HIPAA assessment, and social engineering. People tend to relate better and comprehend more when issues are presented as real-life examples.

Why did you write this book?
When writing Hack I.T., the single most consistent recommendation from our reviewers was for more case studies. We thought of writing a book strictly on case studies, and providing the entire view: what was in place before, the issue at hand, what was done in response, and what may have been done differently to avoid the situation.

Information security is a challenging area. Organizations face security issues every day, but due to the need for confidentiality around these issues they're reluctant to share lessons learned with their peers and other organizations. This book fills a need. We are providing the lessons learned in an anonymous fashion so readerscan benefit from our experience as well as the experience of other organizations.

How is it most relevant to the security community and/or Linux community?
Defend I.T. attempts to illustrate the breadth and scope of knowledge a security consultant should have - covering both the technical and soft skills necessary to be successful in the field.

As we stated earlier the book provides perspective and advice on real-life security issues many organizations are struggling with. Whether the OS is Linux or Windows-based, the issues are similar. The cases cover many OSs and issues your readers would be dealing with.

How can this book help my business/why should I buy it?
It allows businesses to learn from the mistakes - and successes - of other organizations' responses to (commonly occurring) security incidents.

It's apparent that security "incidents" are occurring all the time. Each day you can see a new headline highlighting the latest incident that has occurred. The CERT Coordination Center reported that for the year 2003 there were 138,000 incidents, a 68% increase in the number of incidents reported in 2002 (82,000 incidents) and over six times the 21,000 incidents reported in 2000.

Who has the upper hand these days, hackers or IT professionals? Who is winning the war?
That's a difficult question to answer. Awareness is going up and more organizations are starting to spend money to improve security. Often we're seeing organizations throwing money and software products at security problems without having the strategy, procedures, or expertise to properly and effectively use them. The security community has come a long way, but so have the attackers. The attacks are constantly evolving and respond to each improvement in security. It's too early to tell who's winning.

What are some of the most overlooked security measures?
Strategy and procedures - organizations throw money and security products at security problems without the proper planning or the expertise to best leverage their investment. Also, password strength (or the lack of strength in their passwords) continues to be overlooked.

Companies are getting better at updating their antivirus software and running virus scans on a daily basis; however, given the increasing frequency and severity of viruses, worms, Trojans, spyware, and malicious code, this is an area that demands constant vigilance. Related to this point, most companies allow HMTL-enabled e-mails onto their e-mail servers. Malicious code is often coded right into the HTML and simply opening the e-mail can execute and launch a virus. Firms may want to look at going to text-only e-mails for added security.

About Ajay Gupta and Scott Laliberte
Ajay Gupta, CISSP, founder, and president of Gsecurity, is an expert on cyber security, secure architecture, and information privacy. Gsecurity provides cyber security and data privacy services to federal, state, and local governments, as well as commercial clients in the educational, financial, and health-care sectors.

Scott Laliberte is one of the leaders of Protiviti's Global Information Security Practice. He has extensive experience in the areas of information systems security, network operations, incident response, and eCommerce.

Ajay and Scott are also coauthors of Hack I.T. - Security Through Penetration Testing (Addison-Wesley, 0-201-71956-8)

More Stories By Ibrahim Haddad

Ibrahim Haddad is a member of the management team at The Linux Foundation responsible for technical, legal and compliance projects and initiatives. Prior to that, he ran the Open Source Office at Palm, the Open Source Technology Group at Motorola, and Global Telecommunications Initiatives at The Open Source Development Labs. Ibrahim started his career as a member of the research team at Ericsson Research focusing on advanced research for system architecture of 3G wireless IP networks and on the adoption of open source software in telecom. Ibrahim graduated from Concordia University (Montréal, Canada) with a Ph.D. in Computer Science. He is a Contributing Editor to the Linux Journal. Ibrahim is fluent in Arabic, English and French. He can be reached via http://www.IbrahimHaddad.com.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Carl J. Levine, Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1, will objectively discuss how DNS is used to solve Digital Transformation challenges in large SaaS applications, CDNs, AdTech platforms, and other demanding use cases. Carl J. Levine is the Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1. A veteran of the Internet Infrastructure space, he has over a decade of experience with startups, networking protocols and Internet infrastructure, combined with the unique ability to it...
"There's plenty of bandwidth out there but it's never in the right place. So what Cedexis does is uses data to work out the best pathways to get data from the origin to the person who wants to get it," explained Simon Jones, Evangelist and Head of Marketing at Cedexis, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
Large industrial manufacturing organizations are adopting the agile principles of cloud software companies. The industrial manufacturing development process has not scaled over time. Now that design CAD teams are geographically distributed, centralizing their work is key. With large multi-gigabyte projects, outdated tools have stifled industrial team agility, time-to-market milestones, and impacted P&L stakeholders.
Gemini is Yahoo’s native and search advertising platform. To ensure the quality of a complex distributed system that spans multiple products and components and across various desktop websites and mobile app and web experiences – both Yahoo owned and operated and third-party syndication (supply), with complex interaction with more than a billion users and numerous advertisers globally (demand) – it becomes imperative to automate a set of end-to-end tests 24x7 to detect bugs and regression. In th...
"Akvelon is a software development company and we also provide consultancy services to folks who are looking to scale or accelerate their engineering roadmaps," explained Jeremiah Mothersell, Marketing Manager at Akvelon, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"MobiDev is a software development company and we do complex, custom software development for everybody from entrepreneurs to large enterprises," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
It is of utmost importance for the future success of WebRTC to ensure that interoperability is operational between web browsers and any WebRTC-compliant client. To be guaranteed as operational and effective, interoperability must be tested extensively by establishing WebRTC data and media connections between different web browsers running on different devices and operating systems. In his session at WebRTC Summit at @ThingsExpo, Dr. Alex Gouaillard, CEO and Founder of CoSMo Software, presented ...
WebRTC is great technology to build your own communication tools. It will be even more exciting experience it with advanced devices, such as a 360 Camera, 360 microphone, and a depth sensor camera. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Masashi Ganeko, a manager at INFOCOM Corporation, introduced two experimental projects from his team and what they learned from them. "Shotoku Tamago" uses the robot audition software HARK to track speakers in 360 video of a remote party. "Virtual Teleport" uses a multip...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Evatronix will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Evatronix SA offers comprehensive solutions in the design and implementation of electronic systems, in CAD / CAM deployment, and also is a designer and manufacturer of advanced 3D scanners for professional applications.
Leading companies, from the Global Fortune 500 to the smallest companies, are adopting hybrid cloud as the path to business advantage. Hybrid cloud depends on cloud services and on-premises infrastructure working in unison. Successful implementations require new levels of data mobility, enabled by an automated and seamless flow across on-premises and cloud resources. In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Tevis, an IBM Storage Software Technical Strategist and Customer Solution Architec...
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
An increasing number of companies are creating products that combine data with analytical capabilities. Running interactive queries on Big Data requires complex architectures to store and query data effectively, typically involving data streams, an choosing efficient file format/database and multiple independent systems that are tied together through custom-engineered pipelines. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Tomer Levi, a senior software engineer at Intel’s Advanced Analytics gr...
When talking IoT we often focus on the devices, the sensors, the hardware itself. The new smart appliances, the new smart or self-driving cars (which are amalgamations of many ‘things’). When we are looking at the world of IoT, we should take a step back, look at the big picture. What value are these devices providing? IoT is not about the devices, it’s about the data consumed and generated. The devices are tools, mechanisms, conduits. In his session at Internet of Things at Cloud Expo | DXWor...